Lance Armstrong is still better than me.
I wish I was a better athlete. I wish I was a better parent. I wish I was a better husband. I just wish I was better. So did Lance Armstrong. He was a good athlete who had an intense desire to be better. The desire to be better was so strong that he succumbed to temptation that, to be better, all he needed was a drug. And he was better than every other cyclist in the history of the sport. He succeeded.
It was actually all a lie. A lie to himself about his own abilities. A lie the world. For over a decade.
And so Lance Armstrong – the great hero – the spectacular cyclist – the LiveStrong inspiration – is just like the rest of us: A liar. A person who is weak in the face of temptation. And a person who wants to be better. Just like the rest of us.
And yet, perhaps he is still better than most of us – not because of his cycling – but because he admits that he is wrong, flawed, and weak. Yes, it took him over a decade to admit his wrongdoing, but at least he admitted it. How many of us will admit our wrongs and confess our sins even to a close and personal friend, let alone to the entire world with Oprah?! And what does he have to gain by confessing his sins? Nothing.
Ironically, the very thing that he desired the performance-enhancing drugs to do – make him better – his confession may just accomplish. Because it is only through the confession of our sins – it is only by the admission that we are flawed and cannot be better on our own – that God is able to make us better. We cannot fix ourselves. We cannot be better on our own. There is no drug to fix our broken, flawed, sinful nature. Thankfully, there is a God who can. Thankfully, Jesus is “better” so we don’t have to be. Thankfully, Jesus trades us – our broken, flawed, sinful existence for his beautiful, full, sinless life.